The seasons changing brings with them new challenges to our immune systems. Little ones’ immune systems are learning and adapting all the time. Whilst sometimes that does mean catching a cough or cold, there are also some nutrients and nutrition tips you can use to help the immune system work at its best.
Vitamin A: a powerful antioxidant that can help fight illness and infections, it protects membranes in the nose, mouth and gut. Found in cheese, oily fish, eggs, and liver, as well as in beta-carotene found in yellow, orange, red and green fruit and veggies: spinach, sweet potato, mango, peppers.
Vitamin C: whilst large doses will not protect your family from a cold it may help shorten a cold. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant well known for its benefits to the immune system, keeping cells healthy. Try to eat more fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruit, peppers, currants, and potatoes to see these benefits.
Vitamin E: helps the body make immune cells and maintains healthy skin and eyes. It can be found in nut butters, ground nuts and seeds, vegetable oil and avocado, and including these in your little ones diet will help with maintaining a healthy immune system.
Omega 3 fatty acids: can help the body reduce inflammation which helps when suffering from illness. Having 2 portions of oily fish will help your little one get all the omega 3 fats they need. It can also be found in walnuts, linseeds and chia seeds.
Vitamin D: is a key nutrient in immunity that our bodies make from the sunshine. From October-March there is not enough sunlight in the UK so everyone needs to be taking a vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms a day, including babies.
-Written by For Aisha dietitian Priya Tew.